Igniting Sight: Contemporary artists inspired by JMW Turner 6 July – 8 September 2019


Igniting Sight:

Contemporary artists inspired by JMW Turner


Saturday 6 July until Sunday 8 September 2019

Sladers Yard brings together six leading contemporary artists whose work benefits from JMW Turner’s influence. Each in their different way has studied Turner’s work and felt it feed into their own way of painting.

The great JMW Turner visited Bridport on his West Country tour of 1811. His watercolour Bridport, Dorsetshire of about 1818 (Bury Art Gallery and Museum, Lancashire) is on loan to the Bridport Museum this summer 2019. In order to reproduce it, the painting was engraved in 1820 for Turner’s Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England (Tate impressions: T04398T04399T05367T05368T05982).

To celebrate Turner in Bridport, and particularly West Bay, we are looking at his influence on the painters of today. The work of Fred Cuming RA with its light effects, wide skies and long beaches with boats and distant figures has always been equated with Turner.

Luke Elwes writes: “Some years ago I chose Turner’s ‘Evening Star’ for an Artist’s Eye talk at the National Gallery, a work that remains a touchstone, as it has done for other painters: Rothko studied it and Sean Scully made it the starting point for his current exhibition ‘Seastar’. It shares with much of Turner’s later work a provisional quality, in which a luminous field composed of sea and sky apparently draws on a particular moment and place yet remains timeless and open ended. It is an elemental space, animated by Turner’s ‘weather’ and illuminated with a fiery radiance.”

The inspirational 2015 exhibition Late Turner: Painting Set Free at Tate Britain was revelatory for many, including Jonathan Jones in the Guardian, who wrote ‘Here at last is the Turner who matters – the man who invented modern painting.’ The loose visionary way Turner handled paint in his later years was taken during his lifetime as a sign that he was going senile. Now it is clear that he had truly mastered his art and was moving it forward way beyond his time.

Please let us know at gallery@sladersyard.co.uk if you would like a notification when the artists’ new work becomes available to view online and an invitation to the opening.